Thursday, May 07, 2009

Oops! Did New Scientist Goof Again?

New Scientist published an article on Science and art: Still two cultures divided?.

The journal invited six people to comment on the two cultures. Here's the list ....
  • Stefan Collini is a professor of literature and intellectual history at the University of Cambridge. He edited The Two Cultures (1993, CUP)
  • Susan Haack is a professor of philosophy and a professor of law at the University of Miami, Florida
  • Harry Collins is professor of sociology at Cardiff University in the UK
  • Mary Midgley is a philosopher and writer
  • Sandra Harding is a philosopher and professor of education at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • A. C. Grayling is a professor of philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London
A perceptive commenter (Khoo) asks, "Why was an entire article written about the divide between the arts and the sciences, and not a single physical scientist or mathematician interviewed? Does the author believe these scientists have nothing to say about the arts?"

Good point. A classic demonstration of the two cultures in action.


  1. In their defence, this is not a question of science, but of the place of science in society, and typically scientists tend to be very bad at analysing that. On the other hand, they also didn't have any novelists or journalists, which is a healthy sign.

    Haack is a well known and very good philosopher of science, and Collins, although I don't like his sociological bent about science, knows scientific practice very well. Midgley is just a contrarian, IMO, and Graylin gis a Media Philosopher, although generally I find his views very good. Don't know Collini.

  2. John S. Wilkins

    Why is it a healthy sign that "they also didn't have any novelists"?